Title

Eoarchean contrasting ultra-high-pressure to low-pressure metamorphisms (<250 to >1000 °C/GPa) explained by tectonic plate convergence in deep time

RIS ID

143158

Publication Details

Nutman, A., Bennett, V., Friend, C. & Yi, K. (2020). Eoarchean contrasting ultra-high-pressure to low-pressure metamorphisms (1000 °C/GPa) explained by tectonic plate convergence in deep time. Precambrian Research, 344

Abstract

© 2020 Elsevier B.V. Greenland's Itsaq Gneiss Complex (IGC) shows Eoarchean (>3600 Ma) 250–400 °C/GPa (low T/P – high pressure) and ≥1000 °C/GPa (high T/P) metamorphic regimes, demonstrating a similarity of contrasting metamorphic T/P regimes from the Phanerozoic back to the start of Earth's rock record. Low T/P metamorphism produced: (i) Deep crustal eclogitised mafic rocks which upon partial melting formed the tonalites dominating the IGC; (ii) ~550 °C ≥ 2.6 GPa conditions (≤250 °C/GPa) demonstrated by an olivine + antigorite + titano-chondrodite/titano-clinohumite relict assemblage within mantle slivers showing geochemical and crystallographic features of a suprasubduction environment, that were exhumed into the crust by 3712 Ma; (iii) rare vestiges of 3658 Ma high-pressure (garnet + clinopyroxene) granulite; and (iv) Barrovian-style kyanite + staurolite assemblages. High T/P metamorphism is shown by 3669 Ma crustal melts equilibrated with orthopyroxene. This was coeval to the youngest juvenile tonalitic crust in the complex (latter derived by anatexis under low T/P conditions), and a 3670–3570 Ma history of deep crust migmatisation under low pressure, garnet-free conditions. Structural geology of the IGC indicates its low T/P regimes coincide with crustal imbrication by compression of arc-like tholeiites, boninite-like lavas, andesites, felsic-intermediate volcano-sedimentary rocks and chemical sedimentary rocks, whereas post-3660 Ma high T/P metamorphism was marked by late-orogenic extension/exhumation and deep crustal flow with mafic underplating and partial melting generating granites. Thus the diversity of Earth's earliest-recorded geodynamic settings resembles more those of modern geodynamics, than the lithological and structural relationships expected from theoretical non-uniformitarian scenarios like drip tectonics in a stagnant lid regime. The recognition of an ultra-high-pressure ≤250 °C/GPa metamorphic regime at >3700 Ma in the IGC removes the last argument against a form of plate tectonics operating throughout the Archean. Hence since the start of the rock record, a mobile lid plate tectonic regime contributed to interior heat loss, facilitating chemical communication and feedbacks between Earth's surface and its deep interior.

Please refer to publisher version or contact your library.

Share

COinS
 

Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.precamres.2020.105770